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Once you are put on probation and are given the terms of what you must do to complete your term successfully, then follow each of those terms to the letter. If you meet all your terms, you may likely, on a petition to the court, ask to be discharged. The court reviews your situation and lets you know their decision.

Alternatively, if you fail to meet the terms of your probation, your probation could be revoked, and a harsher sentence imposed on you. It is in your best interests to always meet the terms of your probation, especially when you must meet your probation officer at the scheduled time.

Your terms of probation may also include visits to your home by the probation officer to meet those in the household as well as check out the living environment. Interactions with your probation officer are part of ensuring a lesser chance of recidivism to a former lifestyle or criminal action. Help yourself and your probation officer achieve a good partnership that allows you to clear your record and get on with living the right way. Always be available.

California Penal Code § 1203.3

California Penal Code § 1203.3  governs the judgment of the terms of probation and how the court has the authority “to revoke, modify, or change its order of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence.” This part generally concerns the dismissal of the remaining part of probation, due to good behavior.

Should you be required to serve a term of that probation in prison, and you do not show up, your probation is revoked if it appears you cannot be found. You will also have a sentence imposed on you, other than probation, particularly if your crime was considered a wobbler, as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Flash Incarceration

Flash incarceration, as described by California Penal Code § 3454, is a term between one to 10 days spent in jail for an infraction of one of your terms of probation.       For example, if you are found in an area where you should not be, as per the terms of your probation, you can be immediately detained as punishment by flash incarceration in a city or county jail.

Most courts will review beforehand as to the circumstances surrounding the situation and how it may adversely affect the probationer’s situation at work and home. A suitable term is then decided for the length of the flash incarceration.

Beverly’s Dilemma: A Scenario

Beverly Beals (not her real name) was on probation for a first-time offense of DUI for a BAC reading of 0.08 percent. She had started out from home to meet with her probation officer for this month, as part of her terms of probation.

On the way there, her 18-year-old car sustained a burst hose under the hood and she was now stuck on the side of the road. She called her probation officer to let him know her situation.

As her home was just outside the city, the probation officer contacted the county sheriff to send someone over to oversee the situation and to bring Beverly in for the meeting. In the meantime, Beverly called her roadside car assistance group to come to tow her car to the nearest car garage. Beverly, while late to the meeting, did make it there to see her probation officer.

Beverly did the right thing to meet her obligations by calling her probation officer, which eliminated any possible punishment. If you are on probation and need help with an infraction of your probation terms, or for another legal situation, call us immediately for a consultation. 619-234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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